Friday, January 21, 2011


I really ought to be blogging more about my experiences with Odessa. I'm taking a few moments right now to do so, even though I yikesreallyneedtobegettingreadyforwork, because there's no way I can vent/record this morning's interaction in only 140 characters!

Yesterday morning we had this conversation:
Odessa: Do I get my allowance today? or tomorrow?
Me: You get your allowance on Sundays.
Odessa: Well, I'm getting my hair done tomorrow so I need money.
Me: You get your allowance on Sundays. You need to think about whether you are going to have money before you make plans like getting your hair done.*
Odessa: She can't do it on Sunday because she won't have time to do it all.** [Walks away in a teenager-y huff.]

Last night I got home from work to be greeted by this conversation:
Odessa: Can you take me to the beauty supply shop?***
Me: Not tonight, I'm sorry. You have homework due tomorrow and I need to go to the grocery store and cook for tonight and tomorrow.
Odessa: It's just extra credit; I don't need to do it. I just want to.
Me: I'm sorry but I don't think we have time tonight.

a few moments later... Me: I'm happy to take you to the beauty supply store on Sunday.
Odessa: You don't need to take me anywhere. I'll get there myself.****

Last night, disaster with her extra credit assignment. I can't even begin to share how it went, other than that it took HOURS and involved quite a bit of cursing on Odessa's part. Frequently because I was unable to answer a question when she was the one with the computer in front of her to get the answer. Things were not improved by my refusal to write excuse notes for her absences from her history class that were either 1. before she lived with me or 2. she lived with me, but she wasn't absent from school on those least not as far as I knew.

So then came this morning. I checked in with her when I woke up (she gets up before I do!) and she was still very clearly peeved with me. As in, she wouldn't answer my questions. She did, to her credit, turn down her music when I asked her to because I don't want it bothering the neighbors through her wall. She has a half day today, and it's Friday, so I was particularly interested in what she might be doing after school. And when she'll be home. So I asked:
Me: Do you have plans after school today?
Odessa: I ain't have no money so I can't go anywhere.
Me: Then I will see you when I get home from work. I'm going to go get myself ready for the day.

I went to my room and went to the bathroom. (TMI? It's relevant to the story.) There was a knock on the bedroom door while I was still...indisposed. I said "hold on a minute," finished, washed my hands, and went to open the door. There was an angry knock as I got to the door. (my interpretation? "why aren't you opening the effing door?") And then we had this conversation:
Odessa: I only have $5 on my [public transit fare card] and it's $6***** to get back home so I need $2.
Me: Okay, hold on just a second. [after rummaging in my wallet, gave her $2. Did not explicitly tell her that it is coming out of her allowance next week.]
about 45 seconds later I realized that I needed to add to the conversation:
Me: Hey Odessa? I don't always have cash on me, so it would be helpful if you could think ahead if you're going to have a problem getting to school.
Odessa: I tried to get my allowance yesterday.
Me: That wasn't my point. Yesterday when you got home, you knew you only had $5 on your card. If you had let me know then, I could have gotten cash when I went to the store if I didn't have any. [Not to mention that if I had been in the shower I wouldn't have heard the knock on the door.]
Odessa: [No response.]

I'm telling you, she's going to drive me to drink. :-)

*I didn't say quite so many words. I don't remember exactly how the conversation went. It was something like this, though.
**No, I have no idea how a weekend day has less time in it than a school day.
***Quite possibly the first time she's asked me to do something for her instead of "I need..."
****I still haven't figured out how she's planning to pay for the hair she intends to buy. Hair care is part of her allowance.
*****There is a student fare that is $30 per month. Or she can spend over $30 per week if she loses her student card. I give her $30 per month on top of her allowance; if she loses the card, she has to pay for her transportation to school out of her allowance.

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